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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Pilgrim’s Pride Hit Again with a Recall Due to Listeria

Screen shot 2011-07-20 at 6.10.32 PM.pngToday, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a firm with establishments in Mount Pleasant, TX and Waco, TX is recalling approximately 11,240 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.  The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. boxes containing 2 5-lb bags of “Sweet Georgia Brand Fully Cooked Breaded White Chicken Nuggets Shaped Patties”

• 30 lb. boxes containing 6 5-lb bags of “Pilgrim’s Pride Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet with Rib Meat”

The “Chicken Nugget Shaped Patties” has a date code of 11471010 inkjetted on the box, and bears the establishment number “P-7091A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Each 5-lb bag is marked with the date code and “P-7091A.” These products were produced on May 27, 2011 and shipped to distribution centers in N.J. and Texas for further distribution to food service institutions.

The “Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet with Rib Meat” has a date code of 11801050 and a Use By Date of Dec. 26, 2011 inkjetted on the box, and bears the establishment number “P-20728” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The inner bags are marked with the code date and Use By Date. These products were produced on June 29, 2011 and shipped to a distribution center in Ohio, for further distribution to food service institutions.

The problem was discovered as a result of on-site internal testing at each establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

On October 12, 2002, Pilgrim’s Pride recalled 27.4 million pounds of sliced deli poultry after finding a strain of Listeria monocytogenes in the drain of one of their facilities. It was the largest food recall in the U.S. at the time. The outbreak killed 7 people, sickened 46, and caused 3 miscarriages.

  • This recall follows another one yesterday for Starbucks RTE chicken products. I find it rather annoying that these recall notices both reassure us that “FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.” This standard sentence should certainly be modified in the case of any recall due to Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. After all, the incubation period can range from as little as 6 or so hours to as long as 70 (maybe even 90) days. And usually it’s around 12. Most people who consumed these products would not yet have had any symptoms of illness.

  • Minkpuppy

    This is proof that HACCP is a joke. I know on good authority that the inspectors in East Texas write up tons of noncompliances on these plants but nothing is ever done at the district office level and above. How many noncompliances have to be documented for the Agency to take action? I guess we’ll never know…